On The Mark by Mark Mayer
When Lawrence Tynes kicked the winning field in overtime after two prior misses, the books were cheering louder than the Giants.
You see, Green Bay would have been a killer.
“Every bookmaker in town would be glad to sacrifice volume for knocking the Packers out,” said the astute Kenny White, chief oddsmaker at Las Vegas Sports Consultants. “There were so many futures bets on Green Bay at 75/1 at the start of the year. Believe me, the books are relieved.”
White opened the Giants-Patriots game at 14 and the pro bettors quickly knocked it down to 13 some places, 12½ at the Hilton and 12 at Station Casinos.
“In my power ratings, I had the Giants at about a 9½ or 10-point underdog,” White said. “The Patriots have been over-inflated anywhere from 2½ to 3 points almost every week.”
New England, though 18-0, is just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games. As for why, reasons vary from those over-inflated lines to having played mostly in cold weather conditions in the northeast.
“Looking at that 2-7 record, I think you have to consider the weather factor,” White said. “For the Super Bowl, the Patriots are going to a sunny, warm Arizona climate. That could make a difference.”
As for the line dropping from the opener of 14, White credits the pro bettors for influencing the change.
“For the pros, this is just another game,” White said. “All the early money for the Super Bowl comes from the wiseguys. The general public money outweighs the pro bets by 2/1, but that doesn’t start coming in until Thursday of next week.”
General public money does affect the line. Reason? Well, 50 percent of the customers wagering on the game never bet the entire year.
“That’s why the Super Bowl is the largest volume the books take in all year and why there is a good chance of exceeding the $100 million mark,” White said.